Saturday, June 09, 2018

Collins family say support The Valley

With Steve Kinneavy, the late Jim Collins looking for funds for tree-felling in The Valley, at the Easter Market.
The family of the late Jim Collins have asked that anyone who wants to do something in his memory might consider donations to The Valley Fund, writes Brian Byrne.

Jim set up the Fund in 2006 to help finance maintenance and development of the Valley Park, which he was very much a part of establishing back in the 1970ss.

Prior to that the property was dense scrubland owned by local farmer Tom Molloy, and not used for anything productive apart from the milking shed on a small part of it.

When the Molloys decided to sell, it was bought by Kilcullen Community Council which was at the time undertaking various community improvement activities.

Jim took on the job of raising funds for the park development and came up with a number of fundraising ideas, including waste paper recycling collections, and the innovative and very successful series of 'Lord Mayor' competitions, through which candidates earned 'votes' from financial sponsorship. These raised tens of thousands of pounds, which enabled the Valley Committee to clear, level and landscape the park that today is almost taken for granted by many of today's Kilcullen residents. Jim's activities at the time earned him the local nickname of 'Mr Valley'.

The park was opened in 1978 by Sylvester Barrett TD, Minister for the Environment.

Through the decades since, Jim took a very hands-on approach to the maintenance of the park, along along with Kilcullen Tidy Towns which has committed substantial help to the facility through volunteer work, finance, and CES schemes.

The maturing of landscape features in the past decade resulted in some of the trees becoming too big and dangerous, and Jim was instrumental in having a number of them taken down at different periods.

As recently as the Easter Market in the square, he was actively soliciting donations towards the cost of the latest tree felling, which has both improved safety as well as having reopened vistas of the river which had been lost.

The invitation to help with the Valley Fund was made at his funeral earlier this week, in lieu of bringing flowers.

The Fund is held in a Bank of Ireland account in Kilcullen, to which people can lodge donations.

The details are : Bank of Ireland, Kilcullen; Account Name: The Valley Fund; BIC: BOFIIE2D; IBAN: IE78BOFI90114042357112.

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